Cigarette silk

Object Number: 
4 7/8 x 2 7/8 in.
A small natural beige silk cloth printed with a flag marked "Ireland", a green field with a gold Irish harp in the center and a staff of musical notes above the lyrics of the national anthem surrounded by shamrocks. The Society of United Irishmen, a republican movement which emerged in the 1790s, used a gold harp on a green field (the 'Green Flag'). This flag was carried in the rebellions of 1798 and 1803 and it quickly achieved popular acceptance as the national flag. The flag was used during the widespread peaceful agitations for 'Repeal' of the act of union in the 1830s and 1840s but was viewed as a seditious emblem by the British authorities. In 1848 the Repeal movement split and the radical wing (known as 'Young Ireland') adopted both republican ideas and a tricolour inspired by that of the second French republic. The Young Ireland rebellion of 1848 was quite a small affair and the tricolour flag was largely forgotten until the twentieth century. The next revolutionary movement, the Irish Republican Brotherhood (or 'Fenians') of the 1860s, was much more formidable and it reverted to using the Green Flag. That flag was also used by all the nationalist politicians who campaigned for 'Home Rule' (devolved government within the United Kingdom). By about 1880 or so the Green Flag had become officially tolerated to the extent that one was no longer likely to be arrested for displaying it, but it never had any official status and was always seen as a nationalist emblem. The current official flag of Ireland has three vertical bars of green, white and red. Printed "Nebo Cigarettes" at the bottom edge. One of a series of world flags and anthems. Given as collectible premiums by cigarette manufacturers.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Bella C. Landauer
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group